Linux on the Desktop--an Impossible Dream?

Microsoft isn't the only corporation dissing Linux these days Joining the corporate chorus is Steve Smith, a Dell manager, who doesn't believe that there's much of a future for Linux on the desktop. "It's still a fundamentally technical operating system," Smith says.. "It's very easy for someone who doesn't know what they're doing to break. It's not designed for the novice user."


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Re: Linux on the Desktop--an Impossible Dream?

Anonymous's picture

Here I am reading this article near the end of 2003 and the predictions look pretty on target. Microsoft did succeed in cutting down on consumer copying, with its activation technologies, and there's a lot of push/pull towards the Linux desktop, which, in the meantime, has matured considerably.

I just upgraded from Mandrake 9.1 to 9.2, and the KDE 3.1 desktop is smoother than ever. I lost some icons and sound, during the upgrade but just using GUI-based tools, got everything back. Not any harder than tweaking the Windows registry (ugh).

So Bryan, congrats on a well thought out argument that appears to have been prescient.

PS: It was fun reading about WordPerfect 4.2 again -- brought back the memories (ah, Reveal Codes...)

Re: Linux on the Desktop--an Impossible Dream?

Anonymous's picture

As an IT consultant, I'm reading this via my first install of Red Hat 7.2 and I believe your right on the money. For the small and mid-sized businesses I support, once they realize they can't take their software home and install it on their home computers, or use one copy of office and install it on 50 workstations, the pull will be there.

I for one am migrating to Linux so that I can be ahead of the curve and lead my clients to Linux. The only hurdle that remains is software to some extent. The basics are covered, e-mail, browsing, etc. Unfortunately, some apps though will require some hurdles to get through, e.g. Quickbooks, etc. I know there are some great accounting applications that run on Linux, but ultimately the client is going to want Quickbooks.

Great article and insight!

Re: Linux on the Desktop--an Impossible Dream?

Anonymous's picture

You opened my eyes to see a brighter future. You are so right, and I hope that the guys at MS won't wake up too soon.

Geek Guide
The DevOps Toolbox

Tools and Technologies for Scale and Reliability
by Linux Journal Editor Bill Childers

Get your free copy today

Sponsored by IBM

Upcoming Webinar
8 Signs You're Beyond Cron

Scheduling Crontabs With an Enterprise Scheduler
11am CDT, April 29th
Moderated by Linux Journal Contributor Mike Diehl

Sign up now

Sponsored by Skybot